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Reconstruction or not?

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  • rladdleyrladdley Melbourne Member Posts: 3
    Dear friends, 
    Here I am a week after the BMX at home and rather weepy. The surgery went well and lymph nodes clear.  I saw the oncologist on Xmas eve and am confronted with a whole lot more decisions.  I had thought that if I had the mastectomy that would be all.  Sadly not.
    My oncologist says that with no treatment  I have 15-20% chance of metastatic cancer in the future.  I had two invasive cancers one hormone receptive,  one not, and one HER2 and one not. He recommends treating both cancers to reduce the recurrence to 4-5%. This means a light course of chemo with herceptin for 12 months and a daily pill, not tamoxifen which I have now stopped taking. 
    It's all a bit much really. Has anyone had this too? Thoughts appreciated. 
    Happy Christmas!
    Roxanne. 

  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 6,088
    Oh dear, @rladdley -  SO sorry that you are doing it tough.  You've had a lot on your plate & having the surgery so close to Xmas & then the Onc appointment too, throwing a spanner in the works ...... just adds to the general stress of it all.  

    You can only go with the Onc's recommendations ... you can get a 2nd opinion of course, but chances are, the advice would be the same.  :(    It is hard to get your head around it all, so I hope you have good family & friends to help support you at this time .... 

    I didn't 'do' chemo - but I am sure that others that had similar to you will jump on soon & help talk you thru it xx

    take care, make haste slowly & get better first xx
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,409
    I had a very small her2 cancer and it's known to be aggressive. Although I was told my surgery was potentially curative the recommended treatment was an aggressive chemo and herceptin. Mine was  grade 3 and I had a clear mammogram only 6 weeks before. I didn't want to live with regrets if not doing all for cure. So I did follow the recommended. It was hard but I have no regrets. I also had a bmx but with reconstruction. I wanted to reduce my chances of local recurrence or a new primary growing and being undetected. I continue on also on anastrazole as my cancer was estrogen positive as well and am almost at 5 years with another 5 to go.
    I knew from the beginning I would need chemo. It didn't stop me being weepy when I had that consult and sitting waiting for my heart scan in prep for herceptin. It's all part of the acceptance and acknowledgement of facing a life threatening illness.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,957
    Hearing that you need chemo is a shock and I won't lie and say that it's the most fun thing you'll ever do, but for most of us it is do-able.  It's nothing like the movies.  And then you pick yourself up and go on.
  • sooziqusooziqu Member Posts: 37

    Hi Roxanne,

    You posted this the day I had my double mastectomy and reconstruction. I'm nearly 3 weeks post surgery now.

    I always knew that being flat wasn't for me. I needed to still feel and look like a woman. I'm 61, have a partner I don't live with, and would've done the same partner or not. It's about YOU and how YOU feel about what you are in the mirror each day. My left breast had 2 malignant lumps and my right had one benign lump. I said take both. I don't want to go through this again in 5 years.

    I opted for the diep flap reconstruction at the same time so essentially had a tummy tuck too. The result is better than I imagined. My surgery was skin saving but not nipples. They are to be made at a later date.  I'm still in crop bras but I'm more than happy with the shape. And the tummy.

    Decided what is important to you and go with that. That's all that matters. Your profession doesn't dictate how you are yourself as a woman, only you do.

    Feel free to private message me if you want to chat more about it 

    Sooz

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